Tag Archives: Astroturfing

Astroturfing

I was introduced to the term “astroturfing” this summer, as it relates to politics.
Astroturfing is fake grassroots.

Quoting wikipedia,

“The term (grassroots) implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.”

Again quoting wikipedia for astroturfing means:

Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt (“outreach”, “awareness”, etc.) and covert (disinformation) means.

This summer many health care town hall meetings were astroturfed.
Well-funded republican (or former republican) lobbyist groups organized “grassroots” movements to bring people to the town hall meetings and yell and scream.

An example is this .pdf
http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/townhallactionmemo.pdf

Highlights:

Questions should be prepared.
The questions should put the Rep on the defensive and demand a specific answer.
Use the Alinskyplaybook of which the Left is so fond: freeze it, attack it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half.

The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. TIle Rep should be made to feel tIlat a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.

We want the independent thinkers to leave the hall with doubts about the Democrat solutions continually proposed by the national leadership.

You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opp011unity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early. If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses — call him on it, yell back and have someone else tallow-up with a shout-out. Don’t carryon and make a scene – just short intemlittent shout outs.

Amongst the summary is:

When the session is over those who asked effective questions should seek out any remaining press at the hall, providing their names for attribution you may be quoted in the press article.

In short, everything about it is false.

The questions should
put the Rep on the defensive and demand a specific answer.

Here’s a fun example.
Lots of screaming and yelling.
Skip ahead to 5:40.

I do not assume this girl to be astroturf, just Beck-informed.

A good example of astroturf would be the tea parties this year after a tax cut and the 9/12 project.
Heavily promoted by the wrestling of news (is fox still considered news?), Fox.
Fox thinks it is the government.


She seemingly compares the election of Barack Obama to Pearl Harbor, with her sleeping giant comment.
Listen to that crowd cheer her on, lol.

Lets see how she is treated at MSNBC

Lets see how she’s treated at Fox

She’s worried about a toilet paper shortage.
Tough questioning there fox.
But what about Hannity?
He’s a tough guy.

Hannity is a pathetic interviewer.
She she says speaking from her heart and mind.
Or is she speaking from Glenn Beck’s crazy mind?
They both lack specifics and intelligent thought.

After this town hall she tried to delete one of her online profiles.
However, it was cached and she’s a Beckerhead (Glenn Beck fan).
I have no doubt she helped to organize these other poor fools that cheer her on.

Many of these protests were based on lies being spread by republicans for their health insurance overlord’s benefit.

For  example:

  • 72 percent believe undocumented residents will be covered
  • 79 percent believe they will lead to a government takeover
  • 69 percent believe abortions will be covered
  • 75 percent believe there will be “death panels”

Those are the number of Fox viewers who believed various lies.

Below is a link that discusses an NBC poll regarding health care lies.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32464936/ns/politics-white_house/